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Survey: The pandemic has turned the Finns into demanding e-customers

The pandemic has transformed the way Finnish people shop: e-commerce has become a permanent part of Finnish consumer behavior. A considerable majority of Finns now expect their online purchases to go smoothly.

The pandemic has transformed the way Finnish people shop: e-commerce has become a permanent part of Finnish consumer behavior. A considerable majority of Finns now expect their online purchases to go smoothly.

According to our recent nationwide consumer survey, more than seven in ten Finns now appreciate a well-running online store more than they used to.

The pandemic has turned the Finns into e-commerce veterans with higher demands for online store usability. Seven in ten say that badly functioning and awkward online stores now annoy them more than they used to.

We last charted Finnish attitudes towards e-commerce at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Back then, people did not feel quite as strongly about poorly functioning online stores, with a little over half (55%) expressing annoyance.

“Today, people expect quality service from online stores all the way to their doorsteps. Finnish consumers say that the online stores’ current options for, say, delivery and pick-up are lacking and this irritated nearly half of the respondents. When we asked the same question two years ago, roughly a third were annoyed by these shortcomings”, says our CEO Lari Tuominen.

Shipment tracking is also important for Finnish consumers now, with nearly one in five survey respondents appreciating an easy way of following the processing and delivery of their shipments.  Two years ago, only just over a tenth of respondents considered this an important feature.

Interest in e-commerce is here to stay

“Our survey shows that people are still interested in e-commerce even as society is returning to normal. Nearly half of respondents believed that they will not cut back on their online shopping even after the pandemic. In our last survey, only a third thought this way”, Tuominen continues.

Half of the respondents had made more purchases online this year than ever before. In 2020, slightly more than a third said that they had ramped up their online shopping. Nearly a fifth of respondents to the 2020 survey did not shop online at all.

The Finns love loyalty schemes. Earlier studies have shown that up to 90 percent of Finns are members of one loyalty program and eight out of ten have joined more than one.

“Consumers now expect digital loyalty schemes. More than four in ten said that they are now more interested in online loyalty programs, up from roughly a third in the 2020 survey.”

One in three distrusts mobile app data security

Our survey also charted reasons why consumers had decided not to download a mobile app. Nearly a third said that they had opted not to install a mobile app because they doubted its security.

“The Finns’ need for privacy protection on the web has grown, especially after the Vastaamo data breach. Our survey shows that this lack of trust also extends to mobile apps. The data collected by apps has been the subject of much public debate lately, and this topic should be kept in the limelight”, Tuominen says.

Tuominen admits that, due to their technical features, mobile apps are able to collect more data on their users than traditional online services are.

“And that information can then be used for good or evil. For example, Apple has recently introduced several privacy-improving features for its users.”

We charted the Finns’ digital service use with a national survey in late February. The electronic survey was taken by a thousand people aged 18–75. Half of the respondents were men and half women, and the sample was representative of Finland’s adult population. The survey was conducted by research company Norstat.

Illustration: Niina Nissinen

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